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"Lady Madonna"

Categories: Beatles songs

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"Lady Madonna", Paul's Fats Domino foray, has never had me entirely convinced as part of the Beatles' catalogue, especially as a single. The bouncy piano-driven rhythm seems a little at odds with the trials and tribulations of the 'every mother's daughter' detailed in the lyrics, though McCartney has always expressed his satisfaction with the vocal, singing outside of his habitual range. In any case, the original Mr Boogie-Woogie was impressed enough to record his own version — which can only be taken as a compliment! Our Ringo, mind you, was convinced that Paul was actually doing an Elvis.

The arrangement is as meticulous as one would expect from Macca at the time: in addition to his own rollicking bass, George's buzzsaw guitar part is a killer, whilst Ringo throws in a few more of his oft-copied yet never matched flourishes. The "see how they run" breaks, delivered with such effortless tightness, were Lennon's contribution: and allowed him to get at least a snatch of "I Am The Walrus" onto an A-side! Ronnie Scott's saxwork, considered 'too jazzy for pop' back then, was restored to more of its Anthology pretake stridency on the 2006 LOVE mix.

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